Western vs. Asian beauty products – why I don’t discriminate
I recently joined the /r/asianbeauty on Reddit and it’s been amazing connecting with all these other skincare enthusiasts. As the name suggests, this Reddit sub focuses mainly on Asian beauty products, which y’all know I adore. However, I noticed that a few users there seem to be strongly against non-Asian beauty products, to the point where someone’s comment about Western products got down voted to the negatives. Yikes.
My point is, I don’t understand this negativity associated with Western brands and products. Well, actually I think I do, but none of the reasons that come to mind are valid reasons to discredit these products completely, nor should one believe Asian beauty products are absolutely superior. So let’s talk about the reasons some more:
- Asian beauty products have better ingredients.
If you take a look at the ingredients for Asian beauty products, most of the time you’ll see plenty of plant extracts, humectants, etc near the top of the list. In comparison, when you look at the ingredients for Western products, they’re just not as sexy. But skincare isn’t about each individual ingredient, it’s about the formulation as a whole and how that impacts your skin. The Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream had an impressive list of ingredients, but my God I hated that thing and would pick any Western moisturizer I’ve tried over that.
So yes, Asian beauty products may seem to have “better” ingredients, but in terms of effectiveness, that depends on the formulation and your skin, not the origin of the brand.
- Western beauty products are overpriced.
If you compare the average prices of serums on Jolse vs. prices on Sephora, the difference can be staggering. Add argument #1 above into this and you can see why Western products get a bad rep. But what about the non-monetary value you get from purchasing Western beauty products from Sephora or any department store? There’s no question about availability, you can get them instantly (in store) or wait a few days for shipping, and if the product doesn’t work then you can return it for free, easy peasy.
If a product is crappy and you’re stuck with it, it’s money wasted, no matter the brand or origin. Overpriced trash products don’t discriminate either.
- Asian beauty products have more variety and options.
I do agree with this in the sense that if you’re looking for brightening products, Asian brands are the way to go because y’all know how much the ladies in Asia love bright (white) skin. Oh and sheet masks, we dominate that as well. But am I the only one who finds that too many options can be overwhelming? Why are there 5 different lines from the same brand for brightening? Which line do I use?? #firstworldproblems #aintnobodygottimeforthis
Sometimes simpler is better. I love trying different products, but the number of options + no return policy of Asian beauty products makes deciding which ones to buy a nightmare. Or you buy them all and your bathroom storage becomes a nightmare.
Beauty products, especially skincare, is a very YMMV thing that’s specific to each individual. My mom has used French brands for as long as I can remember, and she doesn’t have a wrinkle on her face (she’s 55). Some other people swear by certain Korean brands/products. Me? I prefer a combination of both Western and Asian beauty products because I find it silly to discriminate, especially when there are fantastic products from both origins.
Yes, Asian skincare, especially Korean skincare, is so hot right now, and there are some fabulous products and brands that I would totally recommend. But don’t get so caught up in the hype – remember, good beauty products are ones that work with your skin, no matter where they come from.
[EDIT – 12/09/2015] So apparently this post got a lot of flack from /r/asianbeauty because I pointed out a behavior I noticed in a few of their users. Um, this post was never about bashing the forum, it was simply reminding users that they shouldn’t be so close-minded when it comes to beauty products. I still think /r/asianbeauty is a great resource to learn about Asian beauty products and most people on there are very helpful and open-minded, but like every corner of the internet, there will be not-so-pleasant people who ruin the experience for everyone. Just my 2 cents, take it or leave it.